Mpumalanga Romantics : Apartheid, Indians and Stone Circles

It's important to tell the truth. This is a somewhat complex story, so bear with me.

I am very familiar with those kinds of ruins. They are typical towns and settlements built by Black/African South Africans before the arrival of whites and even after up to the 1800s. They are between 2,200 and 200 years old. These big towns were not unusual and it wasn't until the late 1800s that Cape Town was bigger than the largest African towns in the interior. They were build with stone foundations and clay buildings with thatch roofs.

As I'm sure everyone knows, South Africa has many racial and ethnic groups. Broadly speaking, they are African/black/Bantu-speakers, Whites (English speaking and Dutch/Afrikaners), Coloured and Asian/Indian, plus a small number of remaining Khoisan/!Kung/Bushman/San.

The first modern human people in SA were the Khoisan, who arrived maybe 20,000 years ago. They were hunter gatherers and used stone tools.

The next group were African/Black/Bantu-speakers (odd to call them African, when everyone else in SA is also actually African). They arrive around 2,000 years ago. They were farmers, kept cattle, sheep and goats and made iron tools, and mined iron, gold, tin and copper.

Then came the whites around 1600 (Dutch/Afrikaners) and 1800 (Brits). Indians arrived in the mid 1800s.

Coloureds are the descendants of mixing between whites, mostly Afrikaners, Indonesians who came with the Dutch, and Khoisan, who were first almost destroyed by war and disease and then reduced to the slaves of the Dutch. There are almost no Khoisan left.

When apartheid came along, the Afrikaners tried to falsify African history and say that the Blacks did not arrive until around the same time the Dutch did, and that therefore the Dutch had just as much right to the land as the Blacks -- justifying wars of conquest. They said the Africans had just taken it away from the Khoisan so they could take it away from the Africans.

The problem was that there were these extensive towns and even more massive ruins.

The solution: Claim the ruins were created by people other than Black Africans. They were created by a lost tribe of Summarians; they were created by lost Phoenicians; claim they were created by some really, really ancient civilization that predates Bantu/African settlement by tens of thousands of years; anything but accept that they were created by the people whose land they were stealing.

When Great Zimbabwe ruins were discovered and explored the first white archaeologists went through the artifacts to "prove" it was created by Phoenicians but all the artifacts were clearly Bantu/African, so they threw them over the side of the mountain on which the ruins were located, as "useless" while they continued to dig down for evidence of the people who "really" created Zimbabwe. They destroyed thousands of priceless artifacts making future studies almost impossible.

During apartheid when radio carbon dating came out, archaeologists dated hundreds of these kinds of ruins and all dates showed they were clearly from the Bantu/African iron age. So the government for a long time banned radio carbon dating in South Africa.

Those extensive circular ruins are classic Bantu/African town ruins described in great detail as being inhabited by Africans by the first white explorers in the interior of South Africa, and sometimes abandoned and new ones built. (The frequency with which town water sources dried up necessitated whole towns and kingdoms to move, as did the Zulu wars of the early 1800s.)

If you would like to learn more about these fascinating ruins, look into the work of SA's greatest archaeologist, Revil Mason, (white guy, University of the Witwatersrand), who fought a long, lonely academic battle against the apartheid government to show that all those ruins were of African origin.

The truth does not make life less magical. These towns were in harmony with nature. The banthu people have a fascinating history, filosophy and more specialy a magnificent shamanism. The damage done by colonialism and so called Christianity is enormous, Luckily lately there is a renaissance of the ancient banthu knowledge in Southern Africa.

To allow this nonsense theorie of Indians in ancient Africa is just not professional so please remove it.

Greetings and good luck.

Dhr T.M.J. Pijnenborgh

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EDITOR'S COMMENT: We thank Thomas from the Netherlands for his point of view, which we are duty bound to publish in the interests of open debate and the cross fertilisation of ideas. However, we regret that it would be unprofessional and unfair to other authors to remove posts on the basis of a personal opinion.